What is 5G and when is it coming?

It is quite timely that on the first day of Towers of Powers class, I received a Time Hop South Korea, developing a 5G network 1000 times faster than 4G.


But this was exactly a year ago. And if there is a country that can make this happen, it’s Korea. So for this week’s assignment, I’ve decided to follow-up on this story and see how far we’ve come in the developing this new technology.

What is 5G

A quick definition from Wikipedia: 5G (5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems) also known as Tactile Internet denotes the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advanced standards.

A comparison of 1G to 5G technologies.
A comparison of 1G to 5G technologies.

“Integration” – The Vision of 5G

  • 5G aims to design a Multi-Bandwidth Data Path by integrating the current and future networks for new network architecture of 5G real wireless world.
Integration of different networks to attain a  Multi-bandwidth data path.
Integration of different networks to attain a
Multi-bandwidth data path.
  • The 5G wireless internet networks are real wireless world which shall be supported by CDMA, OFDM, MCCDMA, UWB and IPv6.
  • 5G technology has extraordinary data capabilities and has ability to tie together unrestricted call volumes and infinite data broadcast within latest mobile operating system.
  • 5G Technologies will have an extraordinary capability to support Software and Consultancy.
  • The 5G technology aims to distributes internet access to nodes across the world with almost seamless speed.

Summary of Features

  • 5G technology would offer high resolution for wireless gadget users and bi-directional large bandwidth shaping.
  • 5G technology would provide large broadcasting of data in Gigabytes.
  • The traffic statistics by 5G technology makes it more accurate.
  • Through remote management offered by 5G technology a user can get better and fast solutions.
  • The remote diagnostics also a great feature of 5G technology.
  • The 5G technology also support virtual private network.

The Debate

The vision above is just one possibility. According to Wikipedia, no international 5G development projects have officially been launched, and there is still a large extent of debate on what 5G is exactly about.

Further more, according to CNN, Industry experts say 5G technology will have to be deployed by 2020 — whatever “5G” means.

“I think the key right now is defining what the requirements are for 5G,” said Mike Haberman, vice president of network support at Verizon Wireless, speaking at a wireless industry conference Tuesday in Las Vegas. “We need to figure out what problem we’re trying to solve.”

GSMHistory.com has recorded three very distinct 5G network visions having emerged by 2014:

  • A super-efficient mobile network that delivers a better performing network for lower investment cost. It addresses the mobile network operators pressing need to see the unit cost of data transport falling at roughly the same rate as the volume of data demand is rising. It would be a leap forward in efficiency based on the IET Demand Attentive Network (DAN)philosophy
  • A super-fast mobile network comprising the next generation of small cells densely clustered together to give a contiguous coverage over at least urban areas and gets the world to the final frontier for true “wide area mobility”. It would require access to spectrum under 4 GHz perhaps via the world’s first global implementation of Dynamic Spectrum Access.
  • A converged fiber-wireless network that uses, for the first time for wireless Internet access, the millimeter wave bands (20 – 60 GHz) so as to allow very wide bandwidth radio channels able to support data access speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s. The connection essentially comprises “short” wireless links on the end of local fiber optic cable. It would be more a “nomadic” service (like WiFi) rather than a wide area “mobile” service.

Major Challenge

  • Integration of various standards: Each engineering practice has their own standard, To integrate these various standards, requires systematic and time consuming approach.
  • Common Platform: There is no common architecture for interconnecting various engineering practices. One common governing body is required, which creates a common platform for all engineering practices to regularize the interconnectivity issues as well as knowledge sharing

On Korea

Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) is currently investing 1.5 billion dollars to develop their own 5G technology that will be 1,000 times faster than 4G LTE. Moreover MEST plans to roll out a trial 5G service by 2017 and have a commercial service available by 2020. In addition to developing the network itself, MEST is developing new, key features for 5G, including Ultra-HD streaming, hologram transmission and upgraded social networking services.

According to Mashable, Samsung has already tested their 5G technology and the company claimes that it managed to produce a 1.056 Gigabit per second signal to a distance of up to 2 kilometers and has plans to have the service commercially available by 2020. However, despite the company’s claims regarding using 5G, the lack of published confirmation has drawn skepticism from  the tech industry and has dismissed this as a mere marketing gimmik.

So is Korea leading the way in 5G technology? Will we adopt Korea’s standards as a global standard?


  1. Wikipedia
  2. CNN Money
  3. Mashable
  4. www.ieee.com/explorer
  5. www.FreeWiMaxinfo.com
  6. www.hubpages.com


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